Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. ~Song of Solomon 2:4
Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. ~Song of Solomon 2:4
From Super Bowl to the Olympic it has been a couple week sof my favorite sports.
Although my Patriots did not win, it was as wonderful game, and the Eagles deserved it Regarding the Eagles, a bunch of their players are Christians so to hear their testimonies throughout the week was amazing. No matter how high people put sports, fame, riches etc., nothing will ever be as powerful of Jesus. He and He alone is worthy to be praised. Jesus gives everyone different gifts and abilities, and uses them to build the body of believers. A super bowl champion who is being obedient to Jesus is no different than a janitor being obedient for Jesus. Whether it be sports or something else, we can easily get caught up in the hype and allow certain things or people to be an idol even if its a good thing in and of itself.
Also, I have always enjoyed watching the summer and winter olympics but the winter has always been my favorite especially the figure skating (individual, pairs, and ice dancing), as well as skiing , and bobsledding. My DVR is going to be full this next couple of weeks to cover it all..ha! But years ago I started watching them and loved every second of the skating routines, especially seeing American Scott Hamilton perform. Not only was he a great skater but his story and testimony is encouraging especially now. Scott has been through a lot in his life to get where he is today so I am excited and honored to share his story below.
In October I hosted a series on my blog titled, 31 Days of Thanksgiving.” I was so honored and thankful for everyone who wrote a guest post for me. One of them was olympic gold medalist figure skater from Scott Hamilton. Due to the Olympics starting this week I thought it would be appropriate to share this again. I am so encouraged by Scott’s testimony, and I know you will be too.
Gratitude comes in all shapes and sizes. It can come in quiet moments of reflection, or it can come with a win from your favorite hockey team in the Stanley Cup Finals.
For me, gratitude is inspired by so many memories. Being adopted by two amazing parents and the expert coaching I was given when I first laced up my skates. Later it would be for the medals I was able to win and the tests I was able to pass on the ice. None bigger than an Olympic Gold Medal. Why me? I often ask.
How could it be that with all the obstacles in my way I was able to break through and make a life for myself and family doing something I loved to do. And then there were the tough times. Ironically, these are the times I am most grateful for. My childhood illness that kept me in and out of hospitals for four years stunting my growth and development. It was only when I started skating that my health started to improve. Since I had very little development, every muscle I grew was built to make me a better skater without any excess baggage. Losing my mother to cancer is something I wrestle with everyday. Through the devastation of mourning my mother, I had the only choice to become the person she wanted me to be.
Through broken relationships, I was able to grow in new directions and build a life I never could have dreamed of.
On the ice, I estimate that I fell 41,600 times. Through each and every one of those falls I learned and grew stronger. And each time I fell, I simply and naturally got up. Looking back, I learned very little from my victories, but am grateful for every one. It was the failures and defeats that I most grateful for. I learned the most from them. God saw me through each and every painful moment in my life. Jesus’s words, obedience, and resurrection have given me hope like nothing else. And the Holy Spirit guiding me toward a brighterÂ tomorrowÂ allows great comfort, knowing Iâ€™m not nearly as lost as I could be.
Each breath we take has God in it. Every moment we experience is a gift. Each day is an opportunity.
Each expression of love changes the world in ways we cannot imagine. My gratitude has no boundaries.
About the Author:
The most recognized male figure skating star in the world, Scott Hamilton has won 70 titles, awards and honors including an Emmy Award nomination, induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
In 1984, Scott captured the attention of the world with his Olympic Gold medal performances in Saravejo and since has shared his love and enthusiasm for the sport as a analyst/commentator, performer, producer and best-selling author (Landing It, 1999; The Great Eight, 2009. His third book, Finish First: Winning Changes Everything, will be released in February 2018). He further inspires others as a speaker, humanitarian, and as a cancer and pituitary brain tumor survivor.
After losing his mother to cancer, then becoming survivor himself, Scott turned activist, launching the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship. He founded several education and survivorship programs including Chemocare.com and the 4th Angel Mentoring Program and events such as Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer and An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends galas fund research into treatments that kill the cancer and spare the patient.
He is also the founder of the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, TN, where he may frequently be found coaching Learn to Skate students and sharing his love of skating.
In what little free time remains, Scott can be found on the golf course and enjoys spending time with his wife Tracie and four children – at their home outside Nashville, Tennessee.
Hi friends. I started writing this post at the end of December planning on publishing on January 1. However, due to infections and other health problems I am behind on writing, and it is now almost February. I’ve written a little at a time and finally have it completed. Hopefully, I will be able to go back to my previous blogging schedule soon.
I’ve been in what I call a medical fog and it has been difficult to say the least. Even though it has been rough, God continues to sustain me. Thankfully, I was able to spend lots of quality time with family during the holidays. Due to my sickness, everyone came to our house so I could be a part of the festivities. Those times are the best, and I’m grateful for family and friends who took extra time to be with and encourage me. From decorating my room for Christmas, brunches in pajamas, singing my favorite Christmas Carols — I have been surrounded by loved ones continually which has kept me going on the hard days.
We are now well into January, and the days keep flying by. One of my new year hopes for this past year was for the Lord to provide healing and allow me to be out and about again. My other New Years hope from 2017 was to write more on my blog. While healing didn’t come in the way I expected, it is a miracle and part of God’s healing when I wake up each morning and able to live.another day.
In years past I have set goals for the year but for this one I am keeping it simple. Being chronically ill, and not knowing how things will be from one day to the next has allowed me to simplify life and declutter all of my plans. Therefore, my theme for thie year is to “just live.” Over the past couple years a lot of my earthly desires, hopes, dreams, friendships, etc have been stripped away but in turn the has provided His love, comfort, and strength. I understand what Corrie Ten Boom meant when she said, “you don’t realize that God is all you need until God is all you have.” Those are true words and they describe my current season of life perfectly. The stripping away proxess has been hard. It has not been easy losing life as I once knew it, but Jesus provides all I need to live well in the midst of my hard.
My utmost desire is to live well in the life God has left for me, and be completely obedient to Him in every circumstance. I have cried out to the Lord for Him to deliver me many times, but whether or not He answers me in the way I prefer, but even on the hardest days my goal should always be the same – to live with the peace and joy of Christ and praise Him in all things. The Lord is good and His goodness always prevails. In closing, here is one of my favorite Bible verses, and focusing on this truth helps me get through each day. Psalm 27 states, “I would have despaired had I not seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living..”
Ilook forward to seeing what God does in the year ahead, and I hope and pray my blog is a place for you to come and be encouraged in your walk with the Lord. Thanks for your continued love, support and prayers.
Hi friend! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. It’s been a while since I’ve written but will be posting more this week. I am currently reading through an Amy Carmichael Devotional nd this one was such a good reminder to trust and rest in God’s peace. Be encouraged!
2 Thess. 2:16
These two familiar words ring in our hearts like bells. Dr. Way translates “strong
consolation” as all-prevailing encouragement. And he speaks of the hope of our heart as an anchor on which our soul rides safely: it cannot slip, it cannot break.
Everlasting consolation, what a word of joy that is! Some of us are tempted to wonder about the future. We
look ahead, and imagine, and fear. For us there is something especially vital in this
great thought of consolation that is not for today only, but for endless tomorrows.
Another word was written surely for any of us who are looking beyond the borders of
today: Isaiah 26:3–4. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind (imagination) is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for
in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
Merry Christmas! I’m so thankful for the birth of Jesus. His love is better than life and He deserves all of our praise. “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” ~Luke 1:38
Happy Thanksgiving week my friends. Below is my review of the new release of the book “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. If you need a good read over the Thanksgiving holiday this would be a great choice.
About the Book:
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), The New York Times best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel Christy. Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter. A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Hi friends. I’m so thankful to have Anna Kooiman guest posting for me today. Below she shares about her blessings and the many wonderful things she has to thankful for during this busy but good season of life. I enjoyed reading her post and I know you will love it too!I think it is so important to count our blessings instead of misgivings. Click To Tweet
I think it is so important to count our blessings instead of misgivings. It helps me stay positive and get the most out of life. I believe it is a great challenge for us to take, when we try to always see the glass as half full.
To view Anna’s pregnancy announcement watch this video –
Anna Kooiman is an American television host and fitness, travel, and lifestyle blogger living in Sydney, Australia. She and her Aussie husband moved to Bondi Beach from New York City. Anna is the former female anchor of the number one weekend cable morning show in the world, ‘Fox and Friends Weekend.’ The four hour breakfast ad-lib show is a mix of politics, current events, lifestyle, and fun. Anna spent 5 years at Fox News Channel in New York City. She also anchored and contributed to multiple New Year’s Eve specials aired internationally on FNC.
Anna was a major contributor to the show’s 2016 US presidential election coverage… interviewing the candidates (including Donald Trump frequently), as well as crisscrossing the country to find out the issues that mattered to everyday Americans. Anna covered major US events from both the studio and the field. Anna was live on the ground following the terror attacks in San Bernardino, CA and Orlando, Florida. Among many other natural disasters, Anna was out in the elements during Hurricane Sandy, and the NE Blizzard of 2015, as well as the devastating Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes. To read more about Anna visit her website here.
Happy Sunday friends. Today, the president has declared a day of prayer to pray for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. I can’t seem to get away from all of the television coverage. The devastation truly breaks my heart.
This is a holiday weekend that gives the excuse to take one more trip or host the last barbeque of the summer. Also, this weekend marks the kick off of college football and if you are like me you’ve been excited about this weekend for a while (Go Gamecocks), but that is a post for another day. I love football, fall, and this is the beginning of my favorite season of the year. Life is hard and quality time with family, friends, traveling, or watching your favorite team play can provide some joy and fun in the midst of a difficult week. Life circumstances can be serious and weigh you down and these things are good for the soul. However, while these are good and meant to be enjoyed, it is easy to be consumed and forget that not everyone has it so easy. In fact, for the people in Texas and Louisiana who have lost everything and are living without power and running water — the last thing on their mind is a football game. Currently, they are just trying to survive and figure out how they are going to move forward when they have nothing. They need prayers, comfort, basic necessities, and encouragement that they are not alone.
So wherever you are today take some time to spend with the Lord worshipping and thanking him for the blessings He has given you, and spend time praying for all those in need. Pray for God’s comfort and provision and that God gives wisdom to the leaders of our country to know how to best help, and what resources are needed. Also, pray for friends who are suffering whether it be from a national disaster, health issue, marriage/financial difficulties, or any unsaved family and friends.
First and foremost, above all else, we should spend time with the Lord and love others. By focusing on praying for and serving others, it helps take the focus off of self. Sometimes the best medicine for a hurting soul is to love and serve someone else. By taking that step of obedience, joy and peace will fill your heart even if joy seems impossible in your set of circumstances.
As I finish this post my theme verses are coming to mind from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which states,
“Rejoice Evermore. Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Oh and I wanted to add some donation options that I did not mention in my previous post about Hurricane Harvey. These are some of my favorite businesses and I trust that all donations will get to those who need them.
Magnolia Market – Chip and Joanna Gaines are donating 100% of the purchases of their Texas Forever tee to Harvey victims.
Turquoise Door Boutique – This is a local boutique in Texas and all proceeds from their Texas strong shirts will be donated. This is one of my favorites. The shirt is available in multiple colors.
Texans Together Hat – These are $40 with 50% of the proceeds going to Hurricane Harvey relief funds. Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org to order.